Initiatives to speed up the future

Imagine that you are walking through mountains and forests enjoying a day of hiking. Suddenly, your attention is caught by the flight of a drone passing not too high a couple of hundred meters in front of you. You look at it strangely because it draws a straight line and you do not see anyone around you who may be piloting it. Then you realize that its trajectory follows the path of a high voltage line and you come to the conclusion that the drone is checking that the line is in perfect condition.

The fact that a drone performs an autonomous flight may sound futuristic, as it is performing a task until now reserved for humans, but it is not. It is about the present and it is just one of the examples of how technology is being speeded up from the Data Innovation Hubs and from European projects that intend to bring these innovation centers closer to companies, as is the case in the previous example of EUHubs4Data or also, the one that will probably attract a larger number of participants in the future, Gaia-X.

The Data Innovation Hubs are figures on which the European Commission’s data-based digitization strategy is based, and they serve so that companies have a single, neutral and objective access to technologies, business models, or financing in the digital field, and where they can experiment with them. EUHubs4Data is an initiative, involving several European Data Innovation Hubs, that seeks the economic boost of companies throughout Europe by the use of smart technologies based on Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.

In this case, the initial story corresponds to the Long Range Planner experiment, proposed by the Spanish company FuVeX. Its objective is to replace manned helicopters with long-range autonomous drones for the inspection of the good condition of European power lines. This will eliminate the human risks that this type of missions entails, but at the same time it will reduce pollution and improve the acquisition of information and data. The main challenge of this experiment is how to ensure safety while acquiring real-time data from power lines.

But there are many other examples. This is only one of the 10 experiments that are being developed within the framework of the European project EUHubs4Data. These experiments were chosen after the closing of the first open call of the project, and will be repeated in December 2021, in order to invite more SMEs to participate in the development of new projects to promote an increasingly efficient economy. Throughout the project, the objective is to carry out more than 40 collaboration experiments between the different HUBs, in which about 80 SMEs, start-ups and digital entrepreneurs will be involved.

The experiments are focused on the application of the “data economy” and Big Data and Artificial Intelligence technologies in a practical way to solve problems in the field of health, transport, mobility, urban planning, environment, finance or cybersecurity, among others. The idea is to offer differential value, since these experiments are being carried out through advice, collaboration and the use of resources provided from different Digital Innovation Hubs across Europe.

The development of these experiments is the result of efforts and work being done by the EUHubs4Data project around fostering data-driven cross-border experimentation and innovation in Europe.

Initiatives like Gaia-X and EUH4D are bringing a federated system that links many cloud services providers and users together. This will allow SMEs to know how to apply and use the services provided by Data Innovation Hubs creating business value and learning success stories from the user’s point of view.

EUHubs4Data will launch its second open call early in December to select a group of 14 SMEs and to support them bringing to life the same number of experiments. This is one of the different ways used by the Data Innovation Hubs for speeding up the technology  but not the only one.  Beyond this, their permanent offering includes data, services and even consultancy and training as a powerful combination to accelerate the arrival of the future.

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